Success Element Five: World
World asks a simple question. What are you willing to give back to the world as you move along your journey? What are you willing to contribute? You cannot simply write a check at the end of the road, you must give back all along the way. It is a universal truth – you can’t get something for nothing.
I see three basic areas, three basic ways to interact with the world around you while on the never ending journey of personal and professional growth and success.
Help Others Wherever You Can
Ask yourself, what can I do to help out the world at large? The answer of course will depend upon where you are at in life (age, career, knowledge, experience, finances, etc. etc.) But no matter where you there are things you can do. Perhaps is simply cleaning up the litter in the local park or along your street. Perhaps it’s mowing the lawn or shoveling the walk for an elderly neighbor. Perhaps it is getting involved in a civic organization or getting involved in your church, synagogue, or mosque. How about helping out a local scout troop, or at the YMCA? I am sure every organization appreciates a financial donation, but the giving of your time will likely help a lot more. The question is, what are you doing on a regular basis to help others and to help make the world a better, more beautiful, more peaceful and friendlier place?
As you know, the fourth success element, Wealth, includes the concept of living on 80% of your income. One of the reasons for this is to have some money to give away. You may choose to tithe to your local church. You may choose to donate to a favorite charity or a cause that is close to your heart. The main thing is to decide how much you can give and then to set up a process of giving. You may choose to write a check or checks weekly/monthly, or you may opt for having automatic withdrawals from your savings or automatic monthly charges to a credit card (which is paid off monthly). I am a firm believer that what you give away returns many times over. It may not be in the same form (i.e, money) but there is always a positive return to all that you send out into the world.
Mentorship can be formal or informal. You mentor formally when both parties have discussed and agreed upon parameters of mentorship. Depending upon your skills you may mentor someone, coach if you prefer the term, on physical fitness, child rearing, public speaking, management style, leadership ability and financial planning.
Informal mentoring happens when you simply help out another person and pass some information to them which makes their burden lighter and their journey easier in some way. Informal mentoring happens one situation at a time. Informal mentoring happens when you help your child with his homework, when you show a neighbor how to tune-up their car, when you help a co-worker with a spreadsheet or give him presentation pointers. Anytime you answer the call to provide information to another person you are mentoring them.
Here is the great thing about mentoring and sharing knowledge in general. When you help teach someone, when give another the insight and information you have, you still have it. You have not lost any of the knowledge or skills that you learned. Helping another person grow actually helps you as well. If you really want to know a subject, teach it. The preparation you will need in order to present and pass the information to your student will help plant that information even deeper into your mind. Mentoring is really a win-win arrangement.
As a last comment about the five elements of success as I define them let me say this:
Judge not too harshly those who are unaware of, cannot find, or have lost their balance between the five success elements. Help them to find or re-discover a healthy balance. It is through the helping of others that we experience the most personal growth.
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